Moving house is strenuous work. But while all the focus is on how to make it easier and less stressful, whether by house hunting or choosing a local moving company months in advance, getting started on our packing weeks ahead of time, and what-not, an often overlooked aspect during the moving process is safety.
Yet, there is usually a lot that could go wrong over the course of the period leading up to moving day or on the big day itself.
The last thing you need on top of the pressure of moving is you or a loved one getting an injury. While some – like a paper cut when packing your books or a scratch on the hand – are minor and commonplace, what you don’t want is to suffer any bad injuries. Pulling a muscle isn’t fun, and even worse is injuring your back.
There is also the threat associated with heavy lifting such as jamming a finger between two solid objects or dropping something heavy on your toes and feet, both of which are enough to make you cuss in four different languages – or worse still, leave you nursing a bad injury that takes weeks to heal, if not months.
To avoid any of these nasty, unwanted scenarios, it’s always important to prioritize everyone’s safety during the moving process. As they say, better safe than sorry – in every sense of the phrase.
Here then, are some tips that can help you do just that.
- Avoid over-packing
One of the most common sources of moving injuries is handling over-packed boxes. Just because you have boxes that can fit 150 pounds of books doesn’t mean you should stack them up until the box is bursting at the seams.
Moving boxes are designed to hold a certain capacity which, if exceeded, can result in injury or strain on your knees, back, and other joints.
A good rule of thumb is to not exceed 50 pounds in the case of small boxes. For medium and large boxes, avoid packing more than 65 lbs. and 70 lbs. respectively.
If you’re wondering what to do with the super large boxes, you can reserve those for bulky (but not weighty) items like cushions, comforters, and linens.
- Dress appropriately
When moving house, you need to dress for the occasion. Opt for comfortable, breathable, and flexible clothing that is weather-appropriate so that you’re as comfortable as possible. Large and baggy clothing should be avoided.
In the case of shoes, avoid sandals and flip flops and opt for more sensible footwear. Sneakers or boots should work fine.
- Lift heavy items safely
Observe safe lifting practices when handling heavy items.
Avoid bending down to lift (as most people are prone to do) and instead squat down and lift with the whole body.
As well, don’t lift heavy items on your own. Find people to help and if there are none, most moving companies do provide labor-only services, so that’s always an option to consider.
- Observe extra caution with kids and pets
Kids and pets have a propensity for being in areas they shouldn’t be, so it’s always good to take extra precaution when they’re around to avoid any mishaps or accidents.
Ideally, consider having someone watch over them, particularly on moving day when there’s so much happening around. It could be an older family member, friend, or even close neighbor.
- Keep all pathways clear
Moving day can be chaotic what with the movement of people and stuff strewn all over.
Whether you’ve enlisted the help of friends or family or hired a mover to help you with the move, always make it a point of clearing all the paths from the rooms to the front door so people are not stepping over boxes and other items while hauling stuff to the waiting vehicle.
Trips and falls are common on moving days, but a clear pathway can help minimize hazards.